May is a time of year where we shed off the drab winter blues and look forward to the warmth of springtime. May is also a time for college graduation and students hoping to start a career in their primary field of study. It is estimated by The National Center for Education Statistics that roughly 2.8 million students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2019. For employers this is an untapped market of bright, new talent; however, most of these individuals will not have enough on-the-job experience to qualify for jobs in their field of study. That begs the question, how do you as a small business, tap into this talent pool knowing that these graduates may not have internships or relevant job experience?
Here are a few tips to navigate the waters of the Green Graduate:
- Create an internship or externship program.
Provide opportunities where students and graduates can obtain on-the-job (OJT) training in their degree program. By creating these types of programs, individuals can get their foot in the door and showcase their talent, while you have the opportunity to evaluate the individual on their merits. When setting up an internship or externship, be sure that it is legally compliant with Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines.
- Determine if certain job requirements can be reduced or if coursework and projects can be considered as experience.
Some job postings are identified as entry-level positions only to require that the individual must have some experience. Try to be loose in what you identify as years of experience. In some cases, especially in the IT arena, there are bright and rising stars in the field who have completed numerous courses and projects that could potentially be counted towards meeting the experience requirement.
- Be thorough in your interviewing.
Successfully interviewing candidates is the key to any good hiring practice. Be especially thorough with green graduates, as you are taking a chance with someone who might not have enough experience or track record in doing the job. Get to know the candidate and learn what their career ambitions might be, as well as their overall maturity level. By gauging their ambition and maturity level, you’ll be able to assess if the candidate is ready to make the jump from college grad to being part of the professional workforce.
- Once hired, provide training.
Regardless of where you are in your career, it is necessary to consistently attend training and development programs simply because technology or best practices are changing at a rapid pace. This is especially important for the green graduate. Providing OJT will allow the employee to acclimate to the industry and provide opportunities to network with other professionals. Additionally, OJT will also help you as an employer, guide the green graduate to success in a demanding career.
BOOST knows GovCon HR and recruiting and how to incorporate new graduates into your staff We function as a boutique recruiting firm, with customized, targeted recruiting efforts for your billable positions, C-suite or corporate positions. We also help companies build a culture where employees want to work. If you need HR or recruiting guidance email [email protected]